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Dublin: 17°C Wednesday 23 June 2021

'New future' for Shannon a step closer with signing of bill

The bill sets up a new Shannon Group plc on a statutory basis.

Image: Airport via Shutterstock

A NEW FUTURE for Shannon is one step closer thanks to the signing of a bill that will set up the Shannon Group plc on a statutory basis.

Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes has described the Cabinet’s approval of the Bill as “another important step” on the way to enactment of legislation.

Hynes said that the first phase was the separation of Shannon from the State airports’ group, and said that has already proven to be a step in the right direction.

The airport is in growth mode after stemming, in our first year as an independent entity, five years of successive passenger decline.

The legislation was approved to establish Shannon Group as part of drive to establish an International Aviation Services Centre in the mid west, and to deliver new routes and new jobs for the region.

Ministers Richard Bruton and Leo Varadkar welcomed the approval of the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill 2014.

The bill will:

  • establish Shannon Group PLC on a statutory basis
  • implement a special insolvency regime for aircraft assets under the Cape Town Convention – which will benefit Ireland’s important aviation leasing sector
  • make changes to existing statutory provisions governing superannuation schemes in the State airport authorities including amendments to facilitate changes to the Irish Airlines (General Employees) Superannuation Scheme.

Today’s announcement marks a further step in the implementation of the decision by government to “support a new future for the Shannon region after years of neglect”.

This decision included a drive to develop a world-class aviation industry in Shannon, and a restructuring of tourism and enterprise support agencies in the region to support this goal.

The Bill will make the new Shannon Group PLC the parent company of both Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) and Shannon Development. The State will no longer have direct ownership of those two companies.

The bill also includes amendments to existing statutory provisions governing pension schemes in the State airport authorities.

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